3 min read

The subtitle for Doable is one of those phrases where you scoff and say “Yeah. Right.”

“The Girl’s Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything.” It sounds too akin to all those platitudes on posters with pretty pictures, “You can do anything you set your mind to” or “If you believe in yourself, anything is possible.” For me those phrases are disheartening, and remind me of my shortcomings. I must not be good at setting my mind to things or believing in myself because there are a whole lot of things that seem quite impossible to me.

That is until yesterday. Debbie Reber’s new book Doable: The Girl’s Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything isn’t just for teen girls. It’s for anyone who has ever been stopped in a project. Her simple 8 steps to getting anything done are so obvious you almost dismiss them. Trust me, you shouldn’t.  As she described the first step, I realized that I was tripping before I could even get out of the blocks. The first step is to define your to do. At first I was sure that I did that. As she continued to describe what that really means, I realized that on most projects I have failed to complete, I never clearly defined what it was that I wanted to do. I would leave it amorphous with no due dates, because with those, in my mind, I would be setting myself up for failure.

But the most important aspect that I had never thought about before is detailing your personal why. Why am I doing this? I rush so quickly to figure out how, and then quickly get overwhelmed by all the possible tasks that I forget why I’m taking on this project. Debbie advises that you sit down and really look for your personal why. You might discover that you are doing the project because someone told you you should, or because you think you have to. In either case, then it is not something for you to take on. She says that the projects should be your own.

I won’t go into all of the insights I got with the other 7 steps, and I invite you to watch the video to find out the rest of them.

The other topic we went into was the 5 biggest obstacles to getting anything done, and how to push through them. As Debbie went through each obstacle, I could see my life, project by project, and all of the places I got stopped and didn’t push through. Most of the time, I didn’t push through because I was overwhelmed, or I would push through hating the project the whole time because I thought I had to finish it in order to not disappoint anyone. The thing is, none of the defense strategies to the obstacles take that long, and all of them get you back to your personal why.

Throughout the lessons Debbie emphasizes self awareness—being aware of what stops you, of what thoughts come up for you, knowing what you are really good at, and what you bring to the project.

I know a lot of this seems really obvious, and you might be thinking, “Wow, Whitney must have a really hard time if she can’t get these basic things,” and I invite you to step back, take an hour to listen to Debbie, and see what you can see about yourself.

I will tell you, yesterday afternoon, after I left the classroom with Debbie, I was more productive than I have ever been.

Now, you go find out what’s really doable.


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